St. Michael's High School

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Hands-On Learning in St. Michael's Science Classes

As part of the junior high curriculum, all seventh graders take Life Science. One of the activities these students look forward to, and equally have some trepidation towards, during the Reptile/Amphibian unit, is frog dissection. Dissection allows students to see and touch the structures that form the human body (anatomy) and it helps them understand how these structures function (physiology).

Throughout the year David Rodriquez, the 7th grade Life Science Teacher, is constantly comparing all living things to the human body. During the two-day frog dissection lab, students are able to learn more about amphibians and their traits through hands-on investigation, while also discovering more about their own internal organs and the function of those organs. The frog's internal anatomy is very similar to that of a human, which makes it a perfect opportunity for students to learn more about the human body—the most complex of all organisms.

Hands-on learning—a key aspect of all St. Michael's science classes, engages the senses in ways that cannot be reproduced online, with textbooks, videos,  models, or charts. And regardless of how the student felt before the dissection activity, every student walks away from this activity having a better understanding of and a curiosity for how living bodies function.